Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Barry Zito, Pablo Sandoval Instrumental in 8-0 Rout of Dodgers; Jays' Colby Rasmus Continues Hot Streak

Players of the Day for Monday, June 25, 2012

American League

It was back to regular play on Monday, with interleague games ending for the two leagues Sunday.

Getting right into the swing of things were the Toronto Blue Jays, who wound up in last place in the AL East during the interleague session, going 7-8 against National League teams.

Red-hot Rasmus
Desperate to get back into the race, the Blue Jays opened a three-game series in Boston with a 9-6 victory, tying themselves with the Red Sox at 38-35, 6 1/2 games behind the division-leading Yankees.

Colby Rasmus, who came over to the Jays late last season from St. Louis, continued to provide a solid punch at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a home run (11), two singles, three RBI and a couple of runs. Rasmus got the Jays off to a fast start with a two-run shot in the first as Toronto put a four-spot on the board in the opening inning.

After Boston tied the game at five, the Blue Jays put them way with long balls. J.P. Arencibia launched a two-run blast in the sixth and Jose Bautista finished the job with his 24th homer of the season, taking sole possession of the league lead with a two-run blast that plated Rasmus, who was aboard after singling to lead off the inning.

Rasmus has been one of the hottest hitters in either league recently, hitting safely in eight of his last nine games, with a .410 average (16-for-39), five homers and 15 RBI.

National League

Zito: 7 scoreless
With interleague games out of the way, the Giants and Dodgers got right at it, opening a series that may go a long way toward determining dominance in the NL West.

Sandoval: 3-for-3
The Giants took early advantage, opening the three-game set with an 8-0 win at home to pull to within two games of the Dodgers in the division.

Barry Zito blanked the visitors on three hits over seven innings, allowing three walks and striking out four. With Zito determined on the mound, Pablo Sandoval led the offense with a 3-for-3 effort, two doubles, three RBI and a pair of runs.

Raising his average to .315, the svelte Sandoval doubled home a pair of runs in the Giants' four run first, knocked in another with a sac fly in the second that put the Giants up, 7-0, and scored the final run on Hector Sanchez's double in the fifth.

San Francisco pounded LA starter Nathan Eovaldi (0-4) for ten hits and all eight runs and can tie the Dodgers - who have led the division almost all season - for the top spot with a series sweep.

CORRECTION: Yesterday, Baseball on Deck put the final interleague tally at 140-110 in favor of the AL, but checking up with MLB, the actual total should be 142-110. Somewhere, we missed a couple of games, and regret the error.

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